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Real men eat plants!

Credit: Thomas Northcut/Thinkstock

Credit: Thomas Northcut/Thinkstock

Today’s Boston Globe features an article about men who are vegans. Actually, make that “hegans.” Yes that’s right, we have a new vegan subcategory. Hegans are “real men” (whatever that’s supposed to mean, maybe this?) who have adopted a vegan diet for health reasons. One recent convert gave credit to The China Study, and its research linking animal protein to the acceleration of the growth of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, for scaring him away from cheeseburgers. And he’s now converted his wife and 8-year-old daughter (not the other way around for once!).

Another guy featured in the article gave this choice quote: “Sure there is a stigma attached to it, that it’s for yuppie, tree-hugging, emaciated weaklings. That is far from the truth. I like to say that real men eat plants.” (Just wondering, what’s so wrong with hugging trees anyway?).

Apparently there are no hard numbers on how many hegans exist because “by nature most men don’t make their eating habits public.” Except when they eat out at Candle Café, I guess.

A choice quote from the article that I can relate to (and I’m a “shegan,” not a hegan) was this: “The thing I hear all the time is: ‘Are you still on that diet?’ It’s the farthest thing from a diet. I don’t feel limited at all. If anything, what I eat has expanded not contracted. I will never diet ever again.”

“They are hegans. They are healthy. And they are here to stay.” Well, macho grandstanding aside, I, for one, hope they do.

To summarize: whether you’re a hegan or a shegan, together we are “wegan” (thanks to Jason Das for coming up with “wegan” in a fleeting moment of pure genius).

Other categories that may also apply to some vegans are “teegan”–tiny vegans–like Thom Yorke or “v-emo-gans” like Dashboard Confessional (credit goes to Cat Clyne for those tasty terms).

Any others that I’m missing?


  1. Comment by


    on #

    I recently read the book The China Study; it was one of the best books I have ever read. After reading it, for personal health reasons, I decided to switch from vegetarian to vegan. When I became a vegetarian almost 2 years ago, I used to think I would never be able to be a vegan, thought it would be too hard. I was pleasantly surprised at how much easier it was than I realized. I love my new lifestyle – I’ll never go back.

  2. Comment by

    Cat Clyne

    on #

    This just cracks me up. “Real Men eat plants.” There’s joke in there connecting Real Men with Fake Meat but I can’t nail it. Anyone?

  3. Comment by


    on #

    Um, yes! I totally agree and this post needs to go all over the place. My boyfriend is a Vegan and his mother seems to think that he isn’t a real man. Other men seem to think that soy turns men into women, and tons of women say “I won’t let my husband eat soy! It has estrogen!” um, ok. If being a real man to them means killing animals like a brute and eating their bones…well…I don’t want a real man.

  4. Comment by

    Respuestas Veganas

    on #

    Not exist vegan diet for health reasons. Exist the 100% vegetarian diet for health reasons. Veganism is not a type of food. Veganism is a philosophy and a lifestyle based on respect for sentient animals that includes a 100% vegetarian diet.